RCE conference in Budapest
Photo: Meir Dahan
Mumbai attacks prompt creation of Jewish rescue units
Rabbinical Centre of Europe, Jewish Emergency Rescue Organization launch project aimed at training volunteers in Jewish communities to serve as local patrol force, protect members against anti-Semitic assaults
Due to the recent murder of six Jews at a Chabad House in Mumbai and the growing fears of rabbis and of Jewish community leaders globally for their personal safety, the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) in cooperation with the Jewish Emergency Rescue Organization (JERO), have launched a new joint protection project.


The aim of this project is to train volunteers from within Jewish communities to provide assistance at any emergency. The training includes first aid and means of rescue and relief where necessary. In addition, volunteers will be trained to serve as a local patrol force to provide surveillance and security. The first target of this new project will be Jewish communities in Europe.


Experts from Israel  

A special meeting was held at the end of last week attended by representatives of the RCE and of the recently established JERO. The Rabbinical Centre of Europe, based in Brussels, is the most prominent rabbinical body in Europe.

Chabad House in Mumbai after attack (Photo: AP)


The meeting concluded with resolutions for cooperation between the two organizations to arrange envoys of professional teams from Israel who will be dispatched to various European communities for the training of local volunteers. These volunteers will provide assistance to the Jewish community in case of terrorist, anti-Semitic or criminally motivated attacks.


At a latter stage in their training, the volunteers will also undergo security training to render them capable of serving as a patrol force in their respective communities. In countries where weapons are legal, the volunteers will be trained to use them when self-defense is required.


The goal – teams in 30 European communities 

"When we were provided authentic reports indicating that the attack of the Mumbai Chabad House were deliberately planned, we were utterly shocked, especially due to our vivid concern that this fact may deter a large number of Jews from attending Jewish community institutions throughout Europe", explained Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, Director deputy of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe.


The Jewish Emergency Rescue Organization was established several months ago by several emergency and relief experts in Israel. "The growing number of emergencies alongside the fact that many Jewish centres have become the target of terrorist attacks has motivated us to create this organization," explained Mr. Avi Chovev, CEO of JERO. "The painful incident in Mumbai triggered us to take immediate measures to establish this organization".


The first training session will commence this coming month. The first community to benefit from the volunteer training is the Jewish community of Moscow with a population of over 100,000. Volunteers within this community will be initially taught the provision of emergency medical assistance and fist aid. This first group of volunteers will also be taught how to handle situations involving death and serious injury.


The volunteers will be trained to provide assistance in a wide range of situations; including accidents, childbirth, and all types of situations ranging from the mundane to those involving a large number of victims.


"Our goal is that by the end of this year, groups of volunteers would be trained to provide relief in 30 European Communities", said Zeev Sofer, deputy CEO of JERO, "We hope, of course, that the only cases they will need to be involved in are childbirths", he humorously concluded.


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